Istanbul Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Mus expressed his hope to expedite the opening of two border crossings with Iraq to ensure the access of Turkish transport companies to all Iraqi regions.

In a speech he delivered today during the opening of the Turkish-Iraqi Business Forum for Investment and Contracting in Istanbul, Mus said: We hope to open the Ovakoy-Fischabo and Derajik-Mercur border crossings as soon as possible to ensure the arrival of Turkish transport companies to all regions of Iraq, stressing that the increasing contacts between Turkey and Iraq in the recent period have gained bilateral relations greater momentum.

He pointed out that the close economic and trade cooperation between the two countries contributes greatly to their prosperity, and that all goals can be achieved in this framework through solidarity.

The Turkish Minister of Trade confirmed that the volume of trade exceeded the target amount during 2020, despite the effects of the Coronavirus epidemic, to rise to 20.7 billion dollars, noting that this success is due to the sacrificing businessmen of the two countries and that economic cooperation will enhance solidarity in other fields.

He revealed that Iraq ranked fourth among the countries most importing from Turkey during the past year, while Ankara ranked third for the Iraqi side.

He said that Iraq has a special place for the Turkish contracting sector, whose companies have undertaken 1,034 projects in this country worth $31 billion.

He added, “Despite a decrease in the number of new projects due to political and economic developments in recent years, we can say that we have entered a new and promising era at the commercial level in Iraq.”

Mus announced that the value of the projects undertaken by Turkish companies in Iraq since 2017 amounted to $6.5 billion, and that Turkey is looking forward to raising the number to higher levels.

He stressed the importance of implementing a project to link the two countries via railways, in a move that would transform Iraq into a trade center between Asia and Europe, and facilitate Turkey’s access to the Gulf states.

He also indicated that Turkey is waiting for the Iraqi authorities to adopt transit trade procedures and for the same rules to be applied in all customs.

He said Turkey is also asking to take all kinds of measures to jointly facilitate bilateral trade, and to take a more flexible approach instead of banning imports and imposing additional tariffs.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency

By webdesk